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PM NewsBrief: Aug. 26, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.

Oklahoma education board declines re-hearing Tulsa and Mustang accreditation status

People from Mustang and Tulsa rallied around their districts Thursday asking Oklahoma’s State Board of Education to reverse an accreditation warning for discussing race, sex and equity in the classroom.

The State Board of Education decided not to hear an appeal of the districts' accreditation penalty for violating Oklahoma’s law banning controversial topics, HB 1775.

Public comment lasted about 40 minutes. Parents, educators and administrators from Tulsa and Mustang begged for a chance to be heard.

But the state board was having none of it.

Three members quickly voted down the request. That leaves Mustang and Tulsa still accredited with a warning and students and teachers still confused about how to discuss difficult topics.

Conservative organization calls for Oklahoma lawmakers to reconsider their stance on the death penalty

Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, a national organization advocating for the end of capital punishment announced it is launching a chapter in Oklahoma in a press conference at the State Capitol on Thursday.

The organization is also calling for a new moratorium on the death penalty and says state officials have ignored the advice of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

Adam Luck, former chairman of the state Pardon and Parole Board, challenged elected officials to reexamine their beliefs and to read the commission’s report.

"The stakes are too high for us all not to apply the highest levels of intellectual integrity and moral aspirations when deciding whether or not to use the death penalty and whether or not we want the state of Oklahoma killing in our name," said Luck.

Osage Nation receives federal money to improve internet access

Earlier this month, the Osage Nation received more than $40 million from the federal government to improve their internet access.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program committed nearly $1 billion to help improve internet access to tribal communities in rural areas where internet access remains difficult.

So far, the program has funded 43 projects.

The money will be used for fiber buildouts in 12 areas within the Osage Nation. Tribal Nation officials say this will help with economic growth in the area and provide more jobs.

Tribal officials anticipate that once the infrastructure is put in place for better high speed internet access it will have positive impacts on health care, public safety and education.

The University of Oklahoma announces date for Love’s Field

The University of Oklahoma has announced the groundbreaking date for the future home for OU's softball team.

The ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the northwest corner of South Jenkins Ave. and Imhoff Rd.

Love’s Field will include more seating, a training center and other team spaces.

In June, the OU Board of Regents approved a budget of $42 million for the project.

Oklahoma’s pecan harvest will likely be smaller this fall due to drought

OSU Extension fruit and nut specialist Becky Carroll says drought will likely affect the state’s pecan crop this year.

During a recent SUNUP episode on OETA, she said the dry weather has caused many issues for native pecan growers who don’t have the ability to irrigate their orchards.

“During the summer months July and early August when the nuts are sizing, we like to get about 2 inches of rain or irrigation a week, and some places haven’t had any rainfall since the beginning of June. So, they may be very small this year.”

A normal pecan harvest in Oklahoma, she says, yields about 13 million pounds of nuts, but the current drought could reduce that number to 11 million pounds.

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